Wednesday 23 January 2013

Classic Book Challenge!

Ok, I am taking part in a classic book challenge in a bid to read and review more classic novels. It's something I found via the brilliant Classics Club blog (a community of classics lovers) and what I like about it is there's a directory, if you like, of all the bloggers taking part in the challenge with links to their blogs, challenge lists and challenge book reviews. I've added a few of my favourite blogs from there onto my 'Library Hot Picks' list to your right  

Because there are tons of classic titles I've been meaning to read for some time, I've decided to spread the challenge to the full five year limit. So, in 2018, it will be interesting to see how many meaty tomes I have ploughed my way through and, of course, which titles I chose to read. 

Pefectionist that I am, I've taken my time consulting websites and books-about-books in order to compile a satisfactory list. (A little note about books-about-books - don'tcha just love them? 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, that kinda thing. I love dipping in and out of them when deciding what to read next. In fact, it's a blog post in the making. Mmm. Interesting).

Many of the books on my list have been sitting on my shelves for years, totally unread and ignored, so hopefully they will be plucked from their dusty obscurity and their secrets finally spilled in a why-haven't-I-read-you-before fashion. I love it when that happens and you suddenly see a book in a completely new light. The challenge is going to make me read works by authors I have avoided due to, I hope, ill-conceived preconceptions. Therefore I have included one Terry Pratchett novel. I have no idea why, but I just don't think the genre is me. I hope to be proved wrong. The same goes for books by Charles Dickens. I have read just the one and it's time I read more. On the list are several children's classics I am looking forward to reading with my 8 year old and plenty of Russian classics to indulge in, being a fan of Russian literature.

So here it is, my well researched book list, together with some beautiful Folio Society illustrations from books featured on the list. Can you guess which titles they are from? Let me know what you think to the list and if you too are taking part in a book challenge.

Start date: 19th January 2013
Completion date: 19th January 2018

1. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
2. What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
3. Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
4. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
5. Watership Down by Richard Adams
6. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome 
7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver 
8. Wild Swans by Jung Chang 
9. Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
10. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien


11. Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
12. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
13. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
14. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
15. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
16. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
17. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
18. Persuasion by Jane Austen
19. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
20. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman


21. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
22. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
23. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
24.The Forstye Saga by John Galsworthy
25. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
26. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
27. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
29. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
30. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens


31. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
32. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
33. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
34. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
35. The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding
36. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
37. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
38. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
39. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
40. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


41. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
42. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
43. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
44. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (a little ambitious but why not!)
45. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
46. The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
47. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
48. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence
49. Ulysees by James Joyce
50. Siddartha by Hermann Hesse


51. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
52. Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
53. The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
54. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
55. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
56. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
57. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
58. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
59. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
60. Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee


61. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
62. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63. The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
64. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
65. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
66. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
67.The Shining by Stephen King
68. A Dry White Season by André Brink
69. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
70. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood


71. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
72. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
73. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
74. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen 
75. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
76. Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
77. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
78. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
79. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
80. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
81. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
82. Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner
83. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
84. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
85. Stig of the Dump by Clive King
86. The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
87. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
88. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
89.The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
90. Skellig by David Almond
91. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
92. Emma by Jane Austen
93. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett 

Looking forward to the places and characters this challenge will take me to.

Glynis x 

PS The list and book reviews can also be found on my blog:



  1. Interesting post.
    Maybe follow each other????:)
    My Blog

  2. Thank you :) Yes - great idea to follow. I'd like that.